"As a young boy in short trousers, I stood and waved my flag as I saw you first in Durham city back in the early 60s. I am as proud as proud can be to be your prime minister today offering this tribute on behalf of the country. You are our Queen. We respect and cherish you. You are, simply, the best of British.
"This year, the tragedy of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, has put you and those closest to you through a terrible test. I know from the conversations we had during those days, how deeply you felt those events for yourself, Princes Charles and the boys. I know too, contrary to some of the hurtful things that were said at the time, how moved you were by the outpouring of grief which followed."Reuse content